Bill and Jacki had talked to us several times about helping with regular ministry at the Center. After twenty-five years in the prison ministry in our home town of Muskegon, Michigan, though, we knew how important longevity was when dealing with men who expect to be rejected or abandoned. With this in mind, our calling in Los Cabos requires flexibility, as well as our being more involved in training others, as opposed to us doing the bulk of the ministry ourselves, as we have done in the past, so we had kindly declined signing up for regular ministry.
Bill, Jacki and the men attend Cabo English Church, where we attend and serve each Sunday morning. We have the honor of greeting them most Sundays. Our hearts are with the men and Palabra de Vida; with our own ministry background being full of ministry at the City Rescue Mission, our own halfway house, and many years volunteering with the state prison system, but we have to be careful to remain focused on our current assignment from the Lord. Finally, Jacki offered only one chapel a month, with flexibility and no long-term commitment—she finally talked us into it and what a joy it has been!
For several months now, Richard and I have been taking turns presenting at the chapel service and then we go into the “best” part; we have complete freedom to minister in the gifts of the Spirit, with words of knowledge, words of wisdom, healing for broken hearts and deliverance; and God is showing up strong!
Personally, this is my forte, but I must admit, I am being led to say some very strong words to these men that even I can’t believe I’m saying. Let me share one testimony... On our very first scheduled chapel, Richard preached and I asked the Lord to show me what He would have me say to the men in the back row—and He did. I called up the first man, who just happened to look like he had not had as rough a past as the others. To save time in this blog, I won’t tell you what the Lord had me tell him, but it completely changed his life! He accepted the Lord, his countenance changed, and although he still has several months left in the program, he is reconciled to his family and they visit regularly. On our last visit, this brother, smiling from ear to ear, looked me in the eye and said, “I’ll never forget what you said to me the first time I met you.” My response was, “Neither will I.” Our God is a God of signs and wonders, which He uses as attesting miracles to grip the hearts of men and women, and gives us words of knowledge and words of wisdom that can set the captives free!
Please continue to pray for safety and encouragement as Bill and Jacki continue to pour their lives into the lives of others that they might be free!